QA blog postings

QA Postings

Earliest: November 26, 2017Latest: December 2, 2019Total: 89
February 19, 2018

Chrome Window Resizer

Chrome's Window Resizer gives you more control of your Chrome Browser

Window Resizer is a great tool to test a website functionality in various browser widths. Basically to test a website responsive design.

Widow Resizer also has the ability to show the current browser size - via a hotkey. This makes it easier for QA to identify a problem on the page using a particular resolution.

Window Resizer Extension

Developer Description

This extension re-sizes the browser's window in order to emulate various resolutions. It is particularly useful for web designers and developers by helping them test their layouts on different browser resolutions.

The resolutions list is completely customizable (add/delete/re-order). You can set the window's width/height, window's position, preset icon (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) and even the option to apply the new dimensions to the entire window or just to the viewport.

Tips and Tricks

Various things I have learned using Window Resizer:

  • It's useful to change the tooltip timeout from 3000 ms to 5000 ms, that way it will stay long enough for screenshots. (You can change this under Settings -> Tooltip.)
  • In the Setting you can change the layout presets. Remove items that you never plan to use. That way it doesn't clutter the Window Resizer menu.
  • There are four very useful tooltips to remember, see the above for the most commonly used shortcuts that are worth remembering.
  • You don't need to have the Window Resizer Extention appear in the Chrome Extention viewer. Simply right click on the icon, and select 'Hide from Chrome..' and you can still access the features via tooltip.
February 12, 2018

Postmortem Document

Part of the responsibilities of the Quality Assurance team is to find out why things go bad. This is typically done after the project gets deployed into production - otherwise known as a Project Postmortem.

The goal of a Postmortem isn't to blame people or processes. The goal is to highlight the issues and then come up with suggestions to fix the problem so it doesn't happen again.

The postmortem shouldn't just benefit the team working on the project, the data gathered should be shared so future projects can learn from past mistakes.

Bad Release Book
Download the One Page Cheat Sheet.

Postmortem Document

A few years ago, I put together a reference document as a guideline for a typical Postmortem. This is useful in starting the conversation and get some fresh ideas flowing.

Download the PDF version of the document and feel free to use it for your next Postmortem.

Some Postmortem Tips

I find it more practical to send out the document to the individual team members a few days before the meeting so they can have some time to think about the issues and come up with viable solutions.

Schedule the meeting at least a week after the incident. If you wait too long some issues might get overlooked. This issues may come back to haunt another deployment.

Remember: Stay on track with the conversation - it's very easy to get side track. Use the "Parking Lot" to shelf ideas that are off topic.

February 5, 2018

SQL Mate

Part of any QA's job is documenting tests in a test case repository system. The goal of a test case repository is to have a central location of test cases that are run during Smoke Test / Regression and other test cycles.

TestLink is Very Popular

TestLink is one of the most popular Test Case Repository that some startup use. Startup teams like TestLink, primary because the application is opensource and is pretty easy to install. Commercial Test Case Repository systems can be expensive for a startup to justify the cost.

It does take a while to understand how to use TestLink. ## How Old ##

Keep the Test Fresh

A test repository is only as good as the test cases. If QA isn't maintaining test cases, then the test case repository system isn't useful. It's very important to keep the test case repository fresh.

At times, this can be very time to consume and overwhelming because of the amount of backlog. Using the TestLink data entry editor can be very confusing. Management may not be open to switching to a different solution.

Welcome SQL Mate

SQL Mate is a new service that hopes to fix the data entry gap. They provide a simple interface to design test cases and then import the XML into TestLink. The good thing is that it will look like the test cases were designed right in TestLink.

SQL Mate puts the power of Markup Language into test case design. Allowing QA to focus more on the test case and not on the layout.

SQL Mate is still in beta, so if you want to get on the ground floor, this is the time. They haven't announced any pricing, but I am sure that beta users would get a discount - plus you'll be testing out their service and providing feedback to make it better for your situation.

Sample Design

This is a sample Test Case entry to verify that Google Calculator correctly adds 2+2:

T Validate 2+2=4 in Google Calculator
!Visit the Google Calculator Page
* Using Chrome goto:
{code}
https://www.google.com/search?q=google+calculator
{code}

!!Validate that the page loads

! Click on the '2' key
! Click on the '+' key
! Click on the '2' key
!! Validate that '2 +2' displays in the calculator status area

! Click on the '=" key
!! Validate that the number '4' appears in the status area and that '2+2' appears above the status area align to the right.

Results in SQL Mate and in TestLink:

S Q L Mate View

January 29, 2018

QA Style Sheet

If your testing a website style, it doesn't hurt to put it through a good CSS tester for compatible issues. There's plenty of sites that are available to validate a website CSS. I have found that 'QA Style Sheet' is a good quick check on CSS compatibility.

In my test, the 'QA Style Sheet' check has done a good job finding out of date style. The nice thing about the project is that you can make a Bookmarklet so that anytime you need to check a page style, simply click on the bookmark. This is really handy when testing a page that is deep in the login process.

Q A Style Sheets

QA Style Sheet Project Description

The QA style sheet highlights specific HTML problems like use of deprecated elements, inaccessible images, layout tables, empty elements, or styling-related maintenance issues. Theoretically, it is "unobtrusive" in a sense that when everything's fine it won't cause any visible changes.

New Owner Needed

The folks over at QA Style Sheet are looking for a new owner. If you're a CSS expert and have some time to spare, it might be a good way to give back.

January 22, 2018

BugMagnet

Bug Magnet is a powerful tool to help Quality Assurance team test HTML form fields during exploratory testing. With a simple right-click, you have access to all sorts of data to help verify the field functionality.

The nice thing that I link about BugMagnet is that you discover new test cases for form fields.

Bug Magnet Monitor

Description from bugmagnet.org:

Exploratory testing for Chrome and Firefox. Adds common problematic values and edge cases to the context menu (right-click) for editable elements, so you can keep them handy and access them easily during exploratory testing sessions.

Field Validation

You can test all sorts of different data types, here are some of the types available:
  • Names - Test names with apostrophe, quotes, dash, Japanese
  • Post Codes - Alphanumeric, With Spaces, 4 digits, 3 digits, 10 digits
  • E-Mail Addresses - Valid and Invalid formats (No longer have to research valid email formats!)
  • Payment Cards - Valid and Invalid Card testing (all the major card types!)
  • Text Size - Test the length of the field

Customize Functionality

Quality Assurance teams can expand the functionality and add their own customize functionality. Full details on how to do it is on their customizing page on their site.

Sample Entry:

{
  "Customer Access": {
    "PreSales": "0",
    "Sales": "0"
  },
  "Company": "Ebriate Inc."
}

Low Footprint

BugMagnet doesn't slow down the Chrome/Firefox functionality. It's certainly worth installing for the times when you may need to test a field.

January 15, 2018

Throw Away Email Accounts

Having multiple email accounts is critical in testing some functionality. QA engineers may need to test various first-time customer experiences to see how the flow works.

There are a couple of excellent services where QA Engineers can quickly setup up unique email accounts for testing. The process is simple and very quick.

Email Apps

ThrowAwayMail.com

ThrowAwayMail.com is perfect if your working on a project for 24-hours and want to capture overnight emails. Simply visit the site, have an email generate. To check emails, simply go back to the site with the same browser.

Full Description from their website:

ThrowAwayMail.com is a disposable email address service. When you visit ThrowAwayMail.com a new email address is generated just for you. The generated email address can immediately receive email. Any email that is received will show up on the main page. No one other than you will see the emails that are received. It is important to note that an email address expires after 48 hours. When an email address has expired, the email address and any received emails will be gone. A new email address will be generated by visiting this website. There are many reasons for using a disposable email. You may want to give someone an email address without revealing your identity. Or you may want to sign up for a website or web service but you are concerned that the website will send you spam in the future.

Mailinator

Mailinator is great because you can instantly create an email, you don't need to set anything up.

Full Description from their website:

The Public Mailinator site is a different kind of email service. The biggest difference is that you don't need to sign up. Any email name you can think of already exists @mailinator.com and you can use any of them. Want BrianTheSkink@mailinator.com? You got it. Want PrettyMothra? ScaryGavyn? No problem. Those and any other mailboxes you think of @mailinator.com are created when email arrives!

January 8, 2018

UFO Quadcopter Instructions

A couple of years ago I got a Drone (UDI RC U816A UFO Quadcopter 2.4Ghz) for Christmas. I was excited because it was my first drone. I wanted to make sure that I understood how to properly maneuver it and spent some time reading the directions.

Today, many things are made overseas because of lower labor costs. I expected some translation issues. However, I wasn't expecting this:

U F O Help

Download the full manual and set a new standard within your company to never stoop to the level of the UFO Quadcopter.

Quality Matters

The first thing that I thought of was: If the company didn't take time to make sure the manual was written, what about the actual product?

Having a good clearly written manual is a sign of how much value the company has with their product. Now, I am not suggesting that they put together a mini-book. I am suggesting to at least have someone proofread it. You can get a decent proofreader on Fiverr for about $10.

Better Technology Today

Since most people don't read the manual, and want to figure it out themselves. Companies can provide videos of how to use their products. PhotoScape X is an excellent application, instead of having a 'help document' they have a bunch of videos on their website to show how to use their product.

January 1, 2018

Slack Emoji Icons for QA

Here are some Emoji that Quality Assurance engineers should add to Slack. These are all in the 128x128 format recommended by Slack.

I have added these to our Slack installation, and they have been used numerous times by QA and Engineering team.

5 Engine Five is Ready
Green Green is good - Go!
ProdPatch Production Patch
ProductionPatch Production Patch 2
Stop Stop Sign
X QA Doesn't Approve
Yield Yield. Watch out!
November 26, 2017

QA Text Graphics

Here are some QA graphic images that are perfect for that moment in Slack or other IM chat:

PatchArmageddon

TestArmageddon

CodeFreze

CodeFreze

CodeFreze